Charter Rights and Regulation by Financial Incentives


  • Eugene E. Dais



This article challenges the conventional view that the Charter is not applicable to the protection of individuals from regulation by financial incentives. The Charter applies whenever individuals are coerced by government. This coercion can be direct and overt, as with punishment, but it can also be indirect and covert as in the case of regulation by licensing, the awarding of contracts and tax incentives. Regulation by financial incentives gives rise to the possibility of subtle coercion in the forms of clever dealing, unconscionable bargains, deceptive expectations and covert punishment. The author argues that the liberty schema of the Charter should apply when regulatory enticement is coercive and not purely facilitative.